“You’ll never see a squirrel trapped by a syllogism.”

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Mr. Smiff is a genuine kick in the pants.  Dude’s worth listening to.

The fact that he got Buffalo Bill-ed by our psychopatho-genic society simply gives him more time to kick me in the pants, which is fine by me, as I appear to be a more-than-fashionably-late political bloomer.  If only he had gotten to me sooner.  I wish him the best in a long, wave-lapped retirement.

However, my eyebrows torqued when he claimed that [unlike humans], “You’ll never see a squirrel trapped by a syllogism,” while continuing his discussion on the “lesser evil” problem presented by Democrats, i.e., the neurotic yowling between advocates of lesser evilism (logic-trapped squirrels) and the “fuck all y’all and the horse you rode in on” camp (my people).

Mr. Smiff’s main point, to my mind, is that you can’t fucking tell Republicans & Democrats apart!  It takes such a fine-tuned sense of discrimination to reveal the iota, the remaining quantal unit of distinction, and even that discrete packet is suspect, that it drives one fucking nuts, neurotic, pissing oneself, snarling, hunkering in dark corners, clawing at the handlers, and falling down, sprawling and panting.  Be more squirrel-like, and reject the choice itself.

I am not claiming that my admiration for squirrels is any less or more than Mr. Smiff’s  (some of my best friends in Golden Gate Park are squirrels!), but mine is different, in that I think squirrels and humans have more in common than Herr Smiff thinks obtains.  To phrase my view in Clintonesque Obamanisms, there’s nothing right with our squirrels that can’t be fucked by what’s wrong with humans.

My good buddy and comrade, Ivan Pavlov — who was probably dead wrong when he apocryphally warned his underlings that “The revolution is not out there; it is in here, in this lab!” —  provided some relevant experimental evidence on conditioned conflict behavior in dogs, which he referred to as “experimental neurosis.”

Pavlov was toying with the borderline between competing conditioned responses, using a discrimination task (circles v. ovals as signals) to train responses, and then inducing conflict by making the discrimination ever more difficult.  

In experimental canine terms, the syllogism is expressed as:

IF circle, THEN respond (orient to the circle, and get food reward.)

IF oval, WITHHOLD response (do not orient to oval, or else!  Zappo! Electric shock.).

After training both competing response elements, the un-American commie bastard then proceeded to present increasingly oval-shaped circles, and increasingly circle-shaped ovals. The dogs, unable to tell the difference between reward and punishment, became progressively unhinged, and unmanageable (Yay, dogs!).  The same has been shown in cats.  Democrats and Republicans have merely demonstrated that such frustrating breakdowns in discrimination also occur in humans.  If that finding, “experimental neurosis,” does not also hold true in squirrels, I’ll eat my straw hat loaded with nasty brick dust.

My point is this: it is precisely the current non-difference between our formerly distinct expectancies of Republicans and Democrats (ovals and circles) that evokes our conflicted animal phenotypes.  The formulation, “You’ll never see a squirrel…” only works until you present the squirrel with a choice between Republicans and Democrats.

The confused frustration expressed under such confused signaling conditions in all mammals tested to date already indicates that the answer is “none of the above.”

Next week we’ll discuss flesh-ripping weasels.


  1. Compound F

    today I was thinking we could make a list of completely non-controversial things the Willard mechanism could agree to today, e.g., “people should never screw cats,” that he is apparently mechanically obliged to contradict on the following day (“people should always fornicate with felines!”).  It would be a fun way to end this electoral clusterfuck.  

  2. banger

    Well, there’s a lot of difference between Republicans and Democrats. In foreign policy the difference is that the Democrats want an imperial order based on cooperation between powerful countries and a more pragmatic approach to building empire. The Republicans prefer unilateral approaches and want to turn the already emergent global empire into an American Empire without room for any partners (not even NATO). In both cases large military expenses are featured since one side sees the U.S. as the global enforcer (for which it gets paid in tribute–i.e., no one dares devaluing the dollar) and the other side features the U.S. slugging it out as being the sole decision making matrix for the system which insures that the global financial aristocrats call the shots.

    Domestically, the Democrats are the conservative party–they want to keep things as they are and, more or less, stumble along largely ignoring the collective problems we face. The Republicans want to reverse all legislation since TR that protects the public and create what, in effect, will be a neo-feudal society that will be totally fragmented and contentious. Both sides favor a police state but the Republican one might be more palatable because having a ruling philosophy of exclusion will create instability since there is no organizing principle–police states only work when the vast majority of the population support it and they fail when large numbers of people (say 47%) don’t feel a part of the society. The Democrats will keep the poor from sliding into despair and starvation the Republicans will, it appears, be quite content to let them starve.

    Neither party has any interest in dealing with the real problems we face but the Democrats, at least, claim that they are interested in solving these problems. And that means I tend to support them because hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. And as long as there is some concept of virtue there is hope. The Republicans, in contrast, encourage and represent the movement towards moral nihilism that seems to be swamping this society.  

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